Cords and cables are notorious destroyers of visual peace and laconic beauty in minimalist designs. That is why it is so unusual to see a minimalist idea sprang from a humble cord and not much else. Petrus Palmér Jonas Pettersson and John Löfgren of Swedish studio Form Us With Love created the Cord Lamp for the brand Design House Stockholm. A textile cord is merged with a steel tube, holding aloft an oversized globe bulb. Here is how designers describe the concept: You can let it irritate you, break your neck tripping over it, or you can surrender, hide it behind the skirting board or press it into a groove. But it’s smarter to make friends with the enemy. Cord Lamp turns the cursed flex into a simple eye-catcher. If there’s any message to a lamp, just for the fun of it, what about ‘make peace not war’. I love how delicate the piece looks. A simple cord and a simple bulb, just by being made a focal point, appear quite exquisite.
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New York based industrial designer and artist William Lee recently presented his latest offering at NY Design Week. This is Switch, a limited edition, minimalist lamp that engages interaction through its own function. The desk/bedside lamp draws inspiration from two places; a typical on/off switch on the wall, coupled with Lee’s interest for art direction, visual balance, and structure. Stripped down to its bare essentials, Switch is made entirely of an acrylic construction with 60 LEDs hidden underneath. Lee explains: In off mode, it faces down in an unassuming flat position. When toggled on, Switch brings an illuminating surprise and takes on another shape by its new orientation. The weighted base grounds the form, leaving a minimal cantilever in its architectural essence. What’s unique about Switch is its rechargeable power and detachable cable. In an age of digital technology where everyday objects communicate or work seamlessly, a portable lamp was appropriate where it can be placed virtually anywhere that light is needed in or outdoors, untethered and free. It’s a combination of Switch’s mobility and exquisite style that impresses so much. I have no doubt that this will be in high demand. Beautiful work.
The delicate and versatile Fluida desk lamp has been created by Marco De Santi and Alessandro Paoletti of Studio Natural for Italian brand Martinelli Luce. The piece, as the name suggests, can be fluidly adjusted to changing lighting needs and uses of the desk A thin flexible strip, fitted with LEDs, is attached to two metal bases. These bases connect via magnets in multiple positions and allow to change direction of the light. The Fluida lamp is the winner of the Young & Design Award 2013. Watch the video to see the piece in action.
Belgian interior architect Luc Ramael, who’s no frills design work of furniture and lighting objects spans over thirty years. He designed this wonderful Biluna floor lamp in 2008 for Italian interior lighting brand, Prandina. The lamp, which has been produced in three versions – F5, F7 and F9 – all of varying sizes, comprises painted polypropylene outer diffuser, opal white thermoformed methacrylate inner diffuser, electronic ballast, and a transparent methacrylate support ring. The smooth, simple form, appearing almost as if it were hovering above the floor, along with the size options to accommodate different spaces, makes Ramael’s design an incredibly attractive interior feature. Biluna is available in matt sand, matt or glossy white and matt or glossy black. It is also available with a foot controlled power cord dimmer. Stunning.
Dutch designers Studio WM have created a series of porcelain pendant lamps that operate on a pulley system inspired by shipyards in Rotterdam. Keeping the available colors solid and the design of whole system minimal and clearly functional, this series has been exhibited in one of many Lightness in Lines presentations by the studio, including the Salone del Mobile of 2012. While I love that it has been inspired by such a utilitarian mechanism, it is the notion that, for once, the pendant lamp’s height can be adjustable so efficiently while looking so elegant and sturdy at the same time that really appeals to me. You can read their interview with Elle Netherlands here and take a peek in their lovely studio.
This elegant lamp has been created by Berlin based designer Uli Budde for Slovenian lighting brand Vertigo Bird. Inspired by traditional oil lamps, the piece produces warm diffused light. The effect is achieved by the three simple elements – a bulb, a cylindrical base and a thin diffuser, leaning over it. Here is how designer describes the piece: The lamp’s light source is situated inside a cylindrical base. Light shines upwards and lights the reflector, which tilts forwards, re-directing and reflecting a diffused glimmer of light. If you look at the lamp full face, it resembles an air balloon (hence the name). It is made from lacquered aluminium and plastic and is available in white or yellow.
Northern Irish industrial designer, David Irwin, operates specifically within the spectrum of contemporary furniture, product and lighting design, and it’s his lighting design that I’m introducing today. More specifically, the M Lamp – a simplistic and wireless task lamp. Inspired by the archetypal miner’s lamps of 19th century, Irwin set out to create a contemporary play on the aesthetics and function. Powered by an internal Lithium iron phosphate battery, this beautiful lamp can be wirelessly transported anywhere within the home, office and in between. Standing at 230mm, the M Lamp projects up to 3,000 lux of warm light from its adjustable head. In its standard mode, its dimmable LED will emit 1,000 lux for more than 8 hours on a single charge, which is ample brightness for late-night work or for reading in bed. The M Lamp is available from Juniper in three colours: Matte Black, Glossy White and Vibrant Orange.
Inspired by the art of the traditional Japanese form of archery, Kyudo is a minimalist floor lamp by German designers Hansandfranz for Italian furniture manufacturer Kundalini who interpreted its philosophy of focusing on the ceremonial aspect of the discipline rather than the targeted goal into its design. With its frame made of aluminum, LED lights run along the profile of the arc that resembles the bow. The arc is adjustable on a sliding track, allowing the direction of the light to move along the frame. So elegant in its form and proportions, it has been a favorite fixture of mine simply because it challenges how a traditional floor lamp is typically lit. It practices both in form and concept the state of shin-zen-bi, which means “truth-goodness-beauty”, the philosophy carried in the art of Kyudo.
The Tilta Lamp is a charming light fixture designed by Scoope Design. As the name suggests, Tilta Lamp can tilt back and forth on its concrete base. The concrete is molded so as to allow the lamp to rotate at almost 360 degrees. The metal piece at the top of the lamp acts as a handle for which to move the light, and gravity does the rest of the work! Tilt it left, tilt it right, tilt it any way you like! This lamp is just so fun! Light fixtures are rarely this exciting! Most lamps just go on or off, but Tilta Light allows the user a whole new way to interact with lamps. The lamp’s range of motion is not just for fun, it is functional in that it allows the user an easy way to direct artificial light. The lamp is available as either a floor lamp or reading lamp. I am personally a huge fan of the smaller reading lamp: I know I would be wobbling it back and forth on my desk all day!
Timp is a desk lamp by German-based industrial designer Lutz Pankow for Pliet. It is designed with extreme efficiency by using only 21W, is dimmable and creates a crisp, clean light that illuminates without any reflection. Being produced in 3 types of solid wood, it can be adjusted to secure to any table thickness between 10-60mm and the spread and amount of light is optimized in its fixed height from the surface of the desk. The proportions and geometry of the Timp lamp are not only so simple and pleasing to look at, but the use of wood as material in desk lamps is rather rare. What I appreciate most of Pankow’s design is improving the function of an essential task light and minimizing the cumbersome wire-pulling over the desk while producing a beautiful, elegant object.
The Hello floor lamp by Swedish architect Jonas Wagell, designed for the brand Normann Copenhagen, is laconic and precise. The idea of the piece came about when Wagell needed a large lamp for an architect project. He experimented with several aluminium shades attached to a piece of wood. This planted the seed for creating Hello. Jonas Wagell explains: Many existing lamps either have a very technological appearance or look quite basic and cheap. Floor lamps – and lamps in general – which have a simple design but also a strong character and a high quality and finish are difficult to come by. Hello is an attempt to fill that gap. I really like the scale of the piece. The oversized elements make it appear as an unusually big desk lamp, which is a fun and refreshing idea. I also love the acrylic inner shade, making harsh stainless steel look soft and approachable.
Hallo Work lamp by German design studio 45 Kilo was inspired by Jean Prouvés’ famous Potence lamp. Minimal and precise, just like its predecessor, Hallo Work offers a concentrated beam of light rather than the overall illumination. And because the beauty of a targeted lighting is in its ability to point at objects at different levels, the clever height changing mechanism has been put in place. Designers elaborate: We found a very simple solution for the height changing mechanism. It consists of a wire that is attached to the head and the wall piece which leads through a leather strap. The height can then be changed by moving the strap along the arm. I love the thin delicate look of the piece. The impressive range and flexibility makes for a perfect equilibrium between form and function.